Wassupppp?!?!?? Y’all ready to get jiggy up in here?? Booyah!!
There’s a meme out there that says something to the effect of “when someone mentions the 90’s you think ‘ten years ago’, even though the decade actually ended nearly 20 years ago”. I can completely relate. I graduated from high school in 1990 (damn near thirty years ago…wow), and after four of the best years of my life in college the subsequent 23 years have kind of flown by in a calamitous fog. But we’re not here to dwell on negativity. No way. In the grand tradition of 80’s Movie Mania our current mission is to reflect on cinematic masterpieces that graced your local cineplex in the years 1990 to 1999 and give mad props to one that is all that & a bag o’ chips.
I feel like the 1990’s as a whole took a dark & cynical turn in multiple areas of life, with movies being no exception. However, I also believe that there were outliers, and due to my well-established tastes & preferences I gravitated toward those. In compiling the list of participants for this competition I realized that, though there aren’t as many films here that we’ve all watched dozens of times flipping thru channels on a lazy day, in comparison with my favorites from the 1980’s this is an overall deeper, more eclectic, steadier field. These movies have probably aged better and don’t seem quite as amusingly nostalgic as those produced in my youth. Whereas 80’s films oftentimes have an idiosyncratic vibe, distinctive music, & unmistakable style, 90’s films don’t really fit into any sort of niche. They’re all over the map, appealing to a wide variety of entertainment palates, possibly at the cost of not being beloved by as many people.
As with previous projects this competition has a few rules. As always…no trilogies. This means that some pretty great movies…most notably the Toy Story films and the Austin Powers films…are excluded. Secondly…no sports films. We talked about my favorite sports movies a few years ago, which included 90’s classics like Jerry Maguire, Tin Cup, The Waterboy, & Happy Gilmore, so there’s no need to be repetitive. And since we did Merry Movie Mayhem last year it isn’t necessary to discuss Christmas films any further. Also, keep in mind that this entire idea revolves around my personal preferences, which means that there are some notable films…including Braveheart, Schindler’s List, The Sixth Sense, JFK, Fargo, Jurassic Park, Dances with Wolves, The Usual Suspects, Men in Black, and Sling Blade…that aren’t in the competition either because I’ve not seen them & have no desire to, or because I have watched them and they just don’t frost my cupcake. Having said that, I do my best to be fair and recognize accomplishments like Academy Awards and top notch box office numbers because if I didn’t particularly care for something but almost everyone else did then perhaps the problem is mine.
In general these movies are evenly distributed throughout the decade, and there’s a little bit of everything here…award winning drama, goofy comedy, a skosh of sci-fi & fantasy, some solid rom-coms, and a dash of action & adventure (not typically my wheelhouse). There are a whopping 100 movies in the field…25 each in four divisions (Wicked, Dope, Fly, & Phat). Nine films in each division will receive first round byes.
Ghost – Presumed Innocent – Edward Scissorhands – Pretty Woman – Goodfellas – Joe Versus the Volcano
Doc Hollywood – Backdraft – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – City Slickers – Hook – Father of the Bride – Only the Lonely – The Addams Family – The Silence of the Lambs – What About Bob?
Glengarry Glen Ross – Wayne’s World – Scent of a Woman – Honeymoon in Vegas – Basic Instinct – Batman Returns – Aladdin – The Bodyguard – Lethal Weapon 3 – My Cousin Vinny – Mr. Saturday Night – Sister Act
Striking Distance – Mrs. Doubtfire – Dazed & Confused – Hocus Pocus – Grumpy Old Men – The Fugitive – The Firm – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? – Groundhog Day – In the Line of Fire – Sleepless in Seattle
Four Weddings & A Funeral – Clerks – The Lion King – The Shawshank Redemption – Forrest Gump – PCU – Pulp Fiction – The Mask – Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – Speed – Dumb & Dumber – Reality Bites – Airheads
Tommy Boy – Batman Forever – Die Hard: With A Vengeance – Billy Madison – Showgirls – Clueless – Apollo 13 – Grumpier Old Men – Father of the Bride Part II – The Birdcage – Empire Records – Mallrats
That Thing You Do – A Time to Kill – Scream – Twister – Black Sheep – Swingers – Independence Day
Titanic – Liar Liar – Boogie Nights – My Best Friend’s Wedding – Good Will Hunting – Fools Rush In – Batman & Robin – The American President
Can’t Hardly Wait – Lethal Weapon 4 – The Big Lebowski – The Truman Show – Deep Impact – Very Bad Things – The Wedding Singer – Armageddon – Patch Adams – You’ve Got Mail – Saving Private Ryan – There’s Something About Mary
October Sky – Office Space – American Pie – Galaxy Quest – Man on the Moon – American Beauty – Ten Things I Hate About You – Big Daddy – The Blair Witch Project
I have decided against doing any kind of polling because that totally blew up in my face when I tried it before. However, The Manoverse is interactive so I welcome feedback and opinions. We will begin with the Phat Division sometime in the next few days. Enjoy. Until then, don’t be buggin’. I’m outtie!!